Special Report — Business and Racial Justice in America 2023
Workplaces disconnected as concern over racial injustice grows
More Americans than last year say they are concerned about systemic racism and see little to no progress in addressing it. Companies are not living up to their commitments. Within workplaces, which are trusted by employees to address systemic racism, executives are less likely to see the benefits of a diverse workforce and more likely to feel uncomfortable talking about race and racial issues with people of other races than mid-level employees and associate-level employees.
Racial Injustice Is a Growing Concern Across Demographics
of respondents say they are concerned about systemic racism and racial injustice, up 8 points from last year.
Executive Disconnect on Addressing Racism in Workplace
of executives feel that their organization is making a lot of meaningful progress on addressing racism and racial inequities in the workplace. 28% of mid-level employees feel that way. 18% of associate employees feel that way.
Businesses Need to Live Up to Their Commitments
of respondents (up 8 percentage points from last year) say they believe companies are doing mediocre or worse living up to their promises and commitments to address racism both within their organization as well as the population.
Progress on Addressing Racism in the Organization Drives Business Outcomes
When employees see their employer as making a lot of progress on addressing racism and racial inequities, they are 39 percentage points more likely to want to stay working there for many years (vs those who see no progress).
To address racism, businesses must...
Ensure diversity across all functions and levels, as well as on the board and in the C-suite
Enforce pay equity
Review and change hiring practices that create disadvantages for diverse candidates
Convene conversations about racism and DEI in the workplace
Executives Are Disconnected from their Employees on Racial Justice Progress
We need a clear framework for measurement and progress on racial justice and DEI. Without that, we will fail to meet employees’ expectations now and in the future.